News


Groundbreaking held for SJRR’s Surgery Center in Sabalos


Six years after the first planning trip to bring a state-of-the-art surgery center to the Rio San Juan community of Boca de Sabalos, the first cinder blocks were set in cement during a groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 6, 2017. …

John Jones leads first SJRR mission of 2017 bringing eye care to more than 1,000 residents


John Jones and a team of 13 volunteers traveled from Santa Rosa, California to lead San Juan Rio Relief’s first medical aid trip of 2017. Jones coordinated the annual mission with SJRR’s Rafael Praslin. The eye care team, which also included a Managua-based doctor, a Peace Corp worker and other volunteers based in the area, examined over 1,000 people in the communities of Las Maravillas and Buena Vista. …

Band of Brothers: The Cannons make a difference in the Rio San Juan

Published in Creekside Living, LeClaire, Iowa - March, 2016

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John Jones' Team Brings Eye and Dental Care to La Azucena


The eye care team examined over 670 people and the dental team served over 130. About 600 pairs of prescription eye glasses were dispensed. As always, all services were free. The John Jones-led team worked in the village of La Azucena on February 1-3, 2016.

Orthopaedic surgeon performs nine hand surgeries during 4th mission to Rio San Juan


Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Nicholas M. Halikis of Torrance Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group in Torrance, Calif., along with physical therapist Janelle Freshman, PT, DPT, OCS, CHT, and coordinator and photographer Howard Freshman

Buena Vista Boy Begins School Following 3rd Visit to California


8-year-old Geral began attending classes for the first time this semester following his third visit to the United States for medical care.  Geral lives near the elementary school in the community of Buena Vista.

During his

Patriarch of San Juan Rio Relief Has Passed Away

Yaro Choiseul-Praslin
1939 - 2014

We are deeply saddened to report the passing on Dec. 11, 2014 of Yaro Choiseul-Praslin, the patriarch of San Juan Rio Relief. Yaro left us at peace with himself and the world, and feeling little pain. …

John Jones Brings 1st Eyecare Mission to Los Chiles

Mission days were July 28-30, 2014 in the San Juan River region of southeastern Nicaragua. John Jones and his team specifically worked in the village of Los Chiles. This village had never had an "eye brigade" come in before but is one of the larger villages in the region. …

Cannon Brothers Medical/Dental Team Returns For Annual Mission

The Cannon Brothers and friends were at it again as they headed down to the Rio San Juan for their annual mission in early March 2014.  Dr. Dan Cannon and wife, Dr. Heydin Otero, headed the medical side accompanied by several physicians from MINSA and nurse

Boy from Rio San Juan in L.A. starts walking for first time; Back in Nicaragua

Howard and Janelle Freshman of Long Beach, Calif. first met Geral (aka Jerald and his mom in Buena Vista during their first medical mission to the Rio San Juan region in 2012.  The pair were joined by orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Nicholas Halikis of Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group.

Peace Corps volunteers provide essential services for SJRR

Peace Corps volunteers living and working in the Rio San Juan region contribute to San Juan Rio Relief medical missions in numerous ways. Their functions vary and change constantly, usually at a moment's notice, but they are always open to the task at hand and work long hours under difficult conditions.

SJRR Registers as Non-profit in Nicaragua

San Juan Rio Relief (SJRR) is a 501c3 charitable organization based in Louisiana whose purpose is to improve the health conditions of the residents of the San Juan River region of Nicaragua. SJRR supplies medicines and vitamins to the rural health centers and facilitates medical brigades for eye care, dentistry and orthopedic surgery. …

Orthopaedic team brings care and equipment on 3rd mission to Rio San Juan

Howard and Janelle Freshman of Long Beach, California recently led an orthopaedic team which brought medical care and equipment to the Rio San Juan communities of Buena Vista, Boca de Sabalos and Kilometro 20, and the area's capital city, San Carlos.  …

More than 800 patients seen in latest St. Mark Lutheran eyecare mission

Ten from St. Mark Lutheran in Santa Rosa California, plus one from Chicago along with Rafael Praslyn from San Juan Rio Relief served the people of Buena Vista on August 5-7, 2013. We examined 837 locals during this time period and distributed at no charge over 800 pair of distance, reading and sunglasses. …

Sabalos Surgery Center groundbreaking nears

The Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Sunrise is building a 1,900 square foot surgery center in Boca de Sabalos in the Rio San Juan region of Nicaragua.  As soon as they get the final clearance from the Ministry of Health in Nicaragua they will begin to break ground. …

BU students join Cannon Brothers for dental mission

A student’s learning experience at dental school can be greatly enhanced by a good mentor. Fourth-year GSDM dental student Tim Smith recently encountered such a mentor on a mission trip to Rio San Juan, Nicaragua with the San Juan Rio Relief

SJRR featured in South Bay Magazine

Published in Southern California, South Bay Magazine profiled Rio San Juan Relief as a featured charity in its 2012 holiday issue.  The magazine featured the members of an orthopaedic mission from Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group in Torrance.

Journalist shout-out to SJRR

Steve Bailey, a former newspaper editor who has worked at major newspapers including the New York Times, now shares his travel experiences on his blog. He happened to be visiting the Sabalos Lodge in 2012 when a medical mission was taking place and he decided to write about it.

Eye care mission nears

John Jones has confimred that Santa Rosa's St. Mark Lutheran's next eye care mission will take place August 5 - 9, 2013.

There will be 11 people going down to the village of Buena Vista, which is about a 1.5 hour drive from Boca de Sabalos. …

Expanded orthopaedic mission set for August 2013

A team from Torrance Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group in Torrance, Calif. is planning its third medical mission in southern Nicaragua in August, 2013. 

“The needs of the people in the region were brought to my attention while vacationing with my husband nearly two years ago,” Janelle Freshman said.  …


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